Friday , Nov , 21 , 2003 C.Y. Ellis

Only the Stats

As NBA fans, and sports fans in general, we all have are own opinions and picks as to who will win what, or what a player will do on any given day, week etc. But through all our speculation and guessing, the one thing that will never be wrong are the cold hard stats, no matter what you say or think the numbers never lie. So we take a look at some of the leaders in the NBA (as of 11-20) at their respective statistical areas from the most tracked, points, rebounds, assists, to the defensive numbers steals and blocks, to the unheralded, turnover ratio, field goal percentage, and minutes per game.

Only the Stats

Points Per Game

1. Allen Iverson 28.4

2. Tracy McGrady 25.9

3. Baron Davis 25.3

4. Peja Stojakovic 24.1

5. Ronald Murray 24.0

Nothing unusual about the top two names, two of the true superstars of the NBA. But the last three have all gotten their chance due to staying healthy, and someone else being hurt. Baron Davis has always been an electric high flying guard but has always had injury problems but so far this season he’s healthy and playing like most of the Hornet’s fans expect. Peja Stojakovic is one of the best shooters in the game no question, but with Webber out Peja has showed he can be the “go-to-guy” whether knocking down a big three or posting up a smaller player. Ronald Murray the biggest surprise of this young NBA season has dramatically taken advantage of Ray Allen’s absence, Murray a throw-in player in the Gary Payton deal with Milwaukee has been awesome stepping up for the Sonics and helping them to a 6-3 start, question is what will happen when Allen returns.

Rebounds Per Game

1. Erick Dampier 14.3

2. Ben Wallace 13.5

3. Kevin Garnett 12.6

4. Shaquille O’Neal 12.0

5. Kurt Thomas 12.0

Dampier once thought to be a star in Indiana, was then traded to Golden State has had injury problems, but that’s behind him as he has taken over being the Warrior’s board sweeper with Danny Fortson now in Dallas. Ben Wallace has maybe gotten more attention for his defensive skills then any other player in NBA history. The superstars get their defense mentioned after all the scoring titles and awards, where as Wallace is strictly a defender, sure he scores little (10.8) and has become a better offensive player, but any NBA fan will tell you Ben’s game is all about rebounds and tough defense.

Assists Per Game

1. Jason Kidd 9.6

2. Baron Davis 8.2

3. Steve Nash 8.2

4. Jason Williams 8.0

5. Stephon Marbury 7.6

No stranger to being on top here, Kidd is one of the top assist guys to ever pick up a basketball, and if he stays healthy and chooses to could make a run at Stockton’s record. Much maligned in Sacramento for his turnovers Jason Williams has become one of the top point guards in the league that no one mentions. Not only is he on an up-and-coming Grizzlies team but also his turnovers are way down, and his assists continue to rise. Add that with his free throw marksmanship (89%) and his always entertaining and sometimes flashy play and you got one NBA’s best-kept secrets.

Field Goal Percentage

1. Chris Wilcox 63%

2. Gary Trent 56%

3. Brian Cardinal 56%

4. Shaquille O’Neal 55%

5. Vin Baker 55%

A category usually filled with big guys and maybe a few unheralded players. Right now seems that formula is holding to form, with 2nd year former Maryland star Chris Wilcox having a very nice season with the surprisingly rejuvenated Clippers under Mike Dunleavy. Brian Cardinal traded with Cliff Robinson outta Detroit to the bay has had obvious success in his role coming off Eric Mussellman’s bench. One of the better stories in the NBA this season is Vin Baker. After having a couple of horrible years in Seattle then last season in Boston, Vin admitted to a battle with alcoholism, and after a summer of cleaning up, Baker is back to cleaning up down low scoring (15 PPG) and rebounding (7 RPG) his way to a possible comeback player award.

Steals Per Game

1. Baron Davis 3.4

2. Allen Iverson 3.4

3. Kerry Kittles 2.7

4. Ben Wallace 2.5

5. Ron Artest 2.3

Iverson has been at or near the top of this category since he came into the league, and why not with his natural quickness and great instincts, “AI” is one of the best at playing the passing lanes in the game today. Ben Wallace near the top of a defensive category? I know it must be a huge shock to you all. Ron Artest the “bad boy” of the NBA may have had his problems with technical, officials, and TV monitors but nobody can deny the fact that he is on of the hardest working defenders in this league.

Blocks Per Game

1. Theo Ratliff 3.7

2. Ben Wallace 3.3

3. Tim Duncan 3.2

4. Chris Andersen 3.0

5. Marcus Camby 3.0

The top three have all been there before and been doing it for a while now. But Chris Anderson and Marcus Camby are two of the reasons the Denver Nuggets are anything but pushovers this season. Camby finally being healthy, and playing like he was back at UMASS rebounding and blocking shots, while he’s never been a physical defender, he uses those long arms knock everything outta sight. If the Nuggets can keep him healthy and continue to play this style of defense, don’t be surprised to see Denver right there when it comes to playoff time.

Minutes Per Game

1. Allen Iverson 44.5

2. Stephon Marbury 41.7

3. Cuttino Mobley 40.8

4. LeBron James 40.8

5. Shawn Marion 40.6

The one thing looking at this stat will tell you is who teams count on to carry them not only at the end of games, but throughout the entire game. Iverson to be playing that many minutes and take the kind of beating he does at his size makes it even more amazing how he can lead the league in scoring. Lebron James has been playing well, but don’t forget he’s 18 and has never played this many games in his life, ever. To continue to see 40+ minutes a game, James might not to walking towards the rookie wall but running into it.

Assist to Turnover Ratio

1. Howard Eisley 4.27

2. Mike Bibby 4.24

3. Damon Jones 4.17

4. Jason Williams 4.00

5. Keith McLeod 3.86

Basically what this is saying is for every one turnover this is how many assists these guys put up. Not exactly a glamour stat, but it lets you know which point guards (usually) are giving their teams the best chance to score or to at least get a shot attempt. With Stockton retired I’m sure the Jazz wish they would’ve been able to hold on to Eisley, he’s exactly the type of under control player Jerry Sloan loves. Bibby and Williams were traded for each other, and the Kings said it was because Williams turned it over to much, well obviously that’s no longer the case, and while Bibby has been great for the Kings I’m sure they wouldn’t mind him being a bit more durable then he has been the past couple seasons.